Stories From Scarborough has been fortunate to receive a number of excellent written memories from Mark, who has so far discussed his recollections of Marvel’s and Kinderland. Now it’s time for Atlantis. If you want to read more about Atlantis and its former lives (as Water Splash World, Waterscene and the North Bay Bathing Pool), please take a look at the following links:
The Blue Waters of Atlantis (brief history and introduction)
Swimming In Scarborough: Battle Of The Bathing Pools (North vs South Bay bathing pools)
Before The North Bay Bathing Pool: The Northstead Estate (more about the site of the pool)
North Bay Pool: For Bathing Or Boating? (North Bay Bathing Pool – early days)
Upon opening in 1995, Atlantis inherited, amongst other features, what were once the longest slides in Europe, or as promotional material boasted, “amongst the longest in the world”. It was these slides, that initially enticed Mark into Atlantis.
My main reason for dragging mum into Atlantis, was definitely the slides… From the outside, it was difficult to see much, due to the high walls, but the slides could be seen from the hotel door!
I rode both the slides, several times, over the couple of visits – they looked like fun, till the first time you got to the top, and looked down into the blue half-tube slides – of course, you couldn’t see over the sides, and therefore the height, but they were definitely pretty scary. After the first time, the scared element became something of a thrill, I think.
But Atlantis wasn’t just about the slides – the water park had many other features:
I remember there were areas that seemed distinctly separate, pools and such. There were even fences between some of the areas, on my second visit. I remember at the Seaward end, there was an area with a large floating barrier, and something like a high powered waterfall/jet of water, coming in from the side of the pool.
I can’t remember if there was a wave pool, I’m afraid… I have a vague memory of an area with timed water fountains in a large, circular area – to run onto, and then get caught in the middle of the fountains of water. Also, something like a tall mushroom, which water poured off the edges of, and down in a curtain of water. There was an area near this, with ropes strung between two islands, however I’m not entirely sure what these were for.
Diving boards… I only remember one. There may have been others, but I only remember one. This was immediately behind, and above, the main entrance, where some sort of ‘preparation’ area for the M.A.P. is located, I believe, now. When you entered from the street, I think you had to turn left or right, to go around the pool to the changing rooms – the wall in front of you, making you turn left or right, supported the diving board, which was accessed by steps, I think from either side of the entrance. No real memory of the changing rooms, I’m afraid.
Atlantis also hosted a special guest – the Hispaniola was briefly ‘moored’ at the water park during the mid 1990s before being repaired and eventually resurrected as an attraction on the South Bay, where it still sails today. Mark remembers this strange sight from his Scarborough visits:
I remember, some time towards the mid 90’s, a boat ‘turned up’ in Atlantis – not floating, however. I believe this may have been the Hispaniola from the Mere, from what I (well, mum) was told when I was quite keen to know where this had come from – it looked like a boat capable of sailing, and this caught my curiosity. The boat was at the inland end of the site, when I remember it being there.
He also recalls the fate of Atlantis following its closure in 2007:
I seem to remember the slides outlasting the pools and changing rooms, once demolition started – the slides and the tower standing behind the glassed in building which is now the shooting range, I think – with the slides essentially stopping in mid air, nowhere to reach to. At this point, the pools had been filled in, and a small theme park/fairground of sorts was taking place there instead. I believe the base of the tower, where the slides started from, may still be there in the grass behind the M.A.P.
Indeed, remnants of Atlantis remain part of the Military Adventure Park site – many of the remaining structures date back to the days of the North Bay Bathing Pool, which initially opened as a small boating pool in 1935.
A huge thanks to Mark, who has taken the time to put these memories in writing. Words are just as powerful as images in evoking memories, so if you remember any of the attractions listed on Stories From Scarborough, please consider sending a sentence or two via email, or even leave a short comment below.